Mom and me at Aspen Ideas Festival, June 28, 2012
I’m very excited to participate in the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, which this year brings global leaders and thinkers together to explore such important topics as “Our Planet: Life In A World With 7 Billion.”
This is a topic that’s never far from our minds at PepsiCo, where we are focused on developing products that meet the needs of the next billion consumers. One example is an initiative I am leading that’s focused on addressing the needs of people experiencing different health or life events.
I’m extremely passionate about this effort, because it allows me to help people like my own mom. During a challenging, and fortunately, triumphant battle with cancer, my mom was so overwhelmed by all that was happening in managing day to day that she had no appetite. Sadly, it seemed that the health professionals helping her in many ways didn’t have the time or inclination to give her diet much thought. I’ll always remember one day soon after surgery when she was too nauseated to even drink water, and was served a giant slab of meatloaf. Even today, when she’s back to eating normally, she finds it hard to get all the nutrition she should over the course of the day.
Why is it so hard for her, and other women like her?
- First, dietary guidelines aren’t easy to understand and act on. There’s a lot of information about what to do, but very little that explains how to do it. For example, what does 40 grams of protein or 9 cups of fluid over the course of a day look like? And what can people eat and drink during a busy day to achieve those goals?
- Second, it doesn’t seem like food and beverages are designed with women like her in mind. Their flavors, packaging, and labels often don’t appeal to older women, or speak to their specific nutrition needs.
- And third, much of the imagery and messages in advertisements and other vehicles for products are clearly intended for other audiences.
At PepsiCo, as we look ahead to the next billion consumers, we are tackling these challenges by finding creative, new ways to display important nutrition information; by designing packaging that make it easier for different types of people to eat and drink our products; and by developing greater choices of foods and beverages and foods that address the nutrition needs and taste preferences of different populations, at different points in their lives.